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Naomi Butcher at Tonbridge Philharmonic Society

On 20th November Tonbridge Philharmonic Society returns to the Chapel of St. Augustine at Tonbridge School. The choir and the orchestra will be conducted for the first time by exciting new Music Director, Naomi Butcher, in her Tonbridge debut.  We spoke to Naomi briefly about how preparations are going for her first concert as Music Director.



Q: Pleased to meet you Naomi and congratulations and your new role as Music Director.  What has been the most exciting thing about preparing for your first concert with Tonbridge Philharmonic Society?

A: Working with a new group is always exciting – it’s a fun (and important!) part of conducting, learning how the ensembles work together and respond to direction, and I’ve especially enjoyed that process with TPS. Both the choir and orchestra are so responsive to direction and incredibly musically disciplined – what an amazing starting point for working on repertoire together!

Q: How did you go about choosing your first concert programme for Tonbridge Philharmonic Society?

A: For the choir, it was really important that all the singers had a chance to get used to singing together again. They hadn’t sung together for a year and a half, so we felt that choosing an accessible work that many of the members would have already sung would be the right way to go, and it has worked! They are sounding fantastic on the Vivaldi, particularly in the magnificent space of the chapel. For the orchestra, it was important for us to find a large enough work that all the players had something to really showcase their skills again in performance. Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony has everything – catchy tunes, a sentimental third movement and a rousing finish. And of course, the Fanny Mendelssohn Overture!

Q: The Fanny Mendelssohn Overture is an unusual choice and will be a premiere for TPS. Are you planning to programme more works featuring female composers during your tenure?

A: Absolutely. The Fanny Mendelssohn Overture is such a tuneful and stylistic piece, there is no doubt in my mind that if it had been written by her brother it would be one of the classical overtures in the canon. Works by female composers have too long been overlooked in favour of their more mainstream, male-written counterparts, and budding female composers deserve to see themselves reflected in the programming of whichever orchestra they happen to come across!

Q: And finally, how are you thanking TN card members for supporting Tonbridge Philharmonic Society?

A. We are delighted to be part of the TN family and are keen to welcome members to our concert on 20th November.  We'll be thanking members for attending with a complimentary programme worth £2.  Please just show our team your membership card when you arrive at the concert. 



For more information on Tonbridge Philharmonic Society and future concerts visit the website here.

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